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imperial policy manifested itself in these ambiguous texts and contributedto a genuinely ambivalent landscape.
The Church and the Christian Landscape
The most obvious and, perhaps, best known buildings dating tothe 6
century are the series of Early Christian basilicas arrayed aroundthe city of Corinth and throughout the surrounding countryside.
Based onthe present state of our knowledge, these buildings appear to represent a single phase of large scale, monumental, “Early Christian” typearchitecture in the Corinthia. There is only scant evidence for earlier,Christian buildings and later, Early Byzantine, structures appeared eitheron a much smaller-scale or as simply the later phases of 6
The size and architecture of the 6
century churches represents one of themore obvious characteristics of the 6
century Christian city and itsterritory. My paper today will consider the influence of just one these buildings: the opulent and distinctive architecture and decoration of theLechaion basilica.
The influence of this impressive building inthe architecture of nearly contemporary structures in the region presentsthe only evidence for the reception of this building by local residents of allkinds.
This is particularly significant because the work of G. Sandersand K. Slane have strongly suggested a mid to late 6
century date for this building, and most scholars have seen its extensive use of Proconnesianmarble, elaborately decorated column capitals and floor treatments, and vast size as an indication that it was an imperial foundation.
Thecombination of a mid to late 6
century date and opulent décor makes itimpossible not to see this building as part of Justinian’s larger building project both in the region and across the empire.
D. Pallas s.v. “Korinth”, in
Reallexicon zur Byzantinischen Kunst
4. (Stuttgar 1990).For more recent summaries discussion see T. E. Gregory, “Religion and Society in theRoman Eastern Corinthia,” in
Corinth in Context: Comparative Studies on Religion and Society
. S. J. Friesen, D. N. Schowalter, and J. C. Walters eds. (Leiden 2010), 433-476;G.D.R. Sanders, “Archaeological Evidence for Early Christianity and the End of HellenicReligion in Corinth,” in
Urban Religion in Roman Corinth: Interdisciplinary Approaches
.D. N. Schowalter and S. J. Friesen eds. (Cambridge, Mass. 2005), 419-442.
The obvious examples of probably late 6
or early 7
century building in the Corinthia are the basilica on the temple hill and the small church on Acrocorinth.
D. Pallas, Pallas,
Les Monuments Paléochrétiens De Grèce Découverts De 1959 À 1973
.(Vatican 1977), 165-171 for a brief summary; K. W Slane and G. D.R Sanders, “Corinth:Late Roman Horizons,”
74 (2005): 243–297.
Sanders, “Archaeological Evidence,” 439.